Steve Robinson Discusses APCT’s Tenfold Expansion


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Steve Robinson, CEO of APCT, a PCB fabricator in Silicon Valley, has led the company to impressive growth since he acquired it nearly 10 years ago. I ran into Steve at DesignCon 2017, and we sat down to discuss the company’s remarkable transformation and his focus on working with PCB designers and engineers to create advanced, high-speed PCBs.

Andy Shaughnessy: Steve, it's good to finally meet you and put a face to the name. Why don't you start off and give us some background about APCT?

Steve Robinson: I’ve spent 46 years in the printed circuit board industry. In 2008, I left Merix Corporation as their Executive VP of Global Operations and was looking for the opportunity to establish a company with a high level of service and technology and a little more flexibility. I acquired APCT in 2008. At the time of the acquisition, it was a low-technology facility in Santa Clara, California, producing two- and four-layer boards. Annual revenue was at $4 million and only four customers. It really wasn't the customer list or the product mix that attracted me, but the layout of the facility. The industry was changing and evolving in North America and I loved the idea of having the opportunity to grow into a facility and create the environment that I had always envisioned the industry needed.

We spent the last eight and a half years enhancing the facility and growing the customer base. We have invested over $9 million in equipment and facility renovations and, today, we have transformed to an advanced technology, HDI-focused operation. This year, we'll do about $39 million in revenue. We have four hundred active customers and our engineering and core competency is building solutions in the advanced technology segment, especially in HDI, where industry designers start to struggle with manufacturability and with a program they can launch forward. That's really where APCT sits today. We now have two facilities: one in Santa Clara, the other in Wallingford, Connecticut. We have 188 employees, 80,000 square feet, and we service every market in the industry.

Shaughnessy: So you had a tenfold increase in revenue? We don't see that very often.

Robinson: We've been fortunate. We've had eight years in a row of double-digit growth. In that period, our largest growth year was 38% and our smallest was 17%. We've been very consistent in achieving our goals and I’m certainly proud of attaining these numbers during such challenging times. I think if you develop a model that resonates with the needs of any business you're going to attract new customers and new opportunities. I think we have a model that is sustainable and still valued in the industry.

To read this entire article, which appeared in the April 2017 issue of The PCB Design Magazine, click here.

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